tv CNN Newsroom With Jim Acosta CNN April 10, 2021 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
something he's not willing to do, but he does want to sit down and have a conversation with his colleague. but this interview really underscoring what a linchpin for biden's legacy, for biden's legislative agenda, manchin is right. while he's not sure he always wants to be in the spotlight, he feels in this moment this is the place where he has to be. lauren fox for cnn in west virginia. >> thank you so much for joining me today. i'm fredricka whitfield. the "newsroom" continues right now jim acosta. you are live in the cnn newsroom. i'm jim acosta in washington. why would you do if you were indicted for sex trafficking and
prostitution? you would deny it and then talk about the deep state. >> they lie about me because i tell the truth about them, and i'm not going to stop. so when you see the leaks and the lies and the falsehoods and the smears, when you see the anonymous sources and insiders forecasting my demise, know this. they aren't really coming for me. they're coming for you. i'm just in the way. >> they're not after me, they're after you. i'm just in the way. if that sounds familiar, that's because former president donald trump posted a meme of those same words back when he had a twitter account, remember those days? gaetz, by the way, was speaking at an event sponsored by women for america first. he talked to women about women. there is something else. this is the same group that organized the january 6th rally right before the capitol riot,
the same kind of disinformation that led to the bloody siege at the capitol was on full display last night. >> do you think the trump supporters that did that that day -- it's a black eye -- >> we don't know that they were trump supporters. >> stop the steal! stop the steal! >> obviously some of the people that went in the capitol were, but you can also see the doors were open. so yeah, they were trespassing, but they didn't destroy anything. they didn't beat anybody up. [ screaming ] >> now, those aren't lies. that is 100 feet down the rabbit hole. and how dangerous and how sad is
it that we're so divided, we can't even agree on the definition of violence when clearly you can see it right there. that attack on the capitol where people died. but also consider that most of them get their news -- >> they didn't have guns but a lot of them had extremely dangerous ideas. they talked about the constitution and something called their rights. some of them made openly seditious claims and said the last election was not entirely fair. >> later tonight, republicans will also flock to florida for a donor retreat headlined by the number one person who inspired that riot, yes, former president trump. cnn's donia sullivan joins us from florida. donie, what did efrmyou hear fr voters there? >> reporter: that's right, jim. good afternoon from the trump golf course here in doral where the big lie that the election
was stolen is very much alive and well and where attendees and speakers are trying to rewrite the history of january 6th. i spoke to some of them. have a listen. >> and i do believe that the election was stolen and i do believe that it was a peaceful rally that day and just because people who were in the capitol were wearing trump shirts and trump hats doesn't necessarily make them trump supporters. anybody can get one of those shirts. >> reporter: but a lot of them have been shown to be real trump supporters? >> how. >> reporter: indictments, longtime support of trump. >> i don't know that to be true. >> reporter: i think some people who watch this who are not trump supporters will see here's a trump supporter who's in denial about january 6th. would it not be better to admit -- >> you don't have to say that to me because i had friends and family already say that to me because they disagree. they think that i'm crazy, that i'm a conspiracy theorist
because the election was stolen. >> reporter: speaking of your family calling you conspiracy theorist, marjorie taylor greene will be speaking here this weekend. she's known as the qanon woman. >> what is so bad about qanon, can you tell me? >> it's a baseless conspiracy theory. >> well, what is so terrible about conspiracy theories anyway? can you tell me? i mean, there were conspiracy theories behind jfk's assassination. i'm old enough to remember all the conspiracy theories that swirled around his assassination. it's always -- it's always painted in such a negative way. >> reporter: but these conspiracy theories are butting into the foundation of american democracy or helping inspire of violent insurrection. >>. no, i don't believe that's the case. in what way?
can you explain? >> reporter: the lie the election was stolen. >> that's where we part ways. i don't believe it's a lie. >> jim, marjorie taylor greene, the qanon congresswoman was supposed to speak at this event tonight, but we've been told by organizers that she will not be able to make it. i want to point out some folks might watch the interview with that lady and say that is a fringe part of the republican party embracing conspiracy theory. but it really isn't. take a look at this polling from reuters this week where it says that almost two-thirds think that trump is not to blame for starting the january 6th riot. 60% of republicans, by the way, say the election was stolen. jim, perhaps most bizarrely of all, 55% of republicans say that the january 6th riot was led not by trump supporters, but some way by left-wing agitators trying to get out of all culpability here. >> reporter: donie, that's why
reporting on disinformation and what you do is so critically important and we're glad you're there talking to the trump supporters to see if perhaps, you know, you might talk some sense into them. i had the same kind of experience before too where you talk to these folks and, you know, they seem just as nice as the day is long, but they are embracing these conspiracy theories and letting people off the hook for all sorts of bad behavior just because they agree with their point of view. donie, we'll check back in with you. donie sullivan with great reporting from florida. thank you so much. now to the doj and house ethics committee investigations that have been swirling around republican congressman matt gaetz. "the daily beast" is reporting on a trail of money between gaetz and his friend, joel greenberg, a former florida tax collector. the site has obtained venmo records from may of 2018 that show gaetz sending greenberg a $900 payment with a note "hit
up" and a redacted woman's name. greenberg send the same amount to three women. cnn has not confirmed the details of the allegations in the daily beast reporting, and there is no indication that the women involved were under the age of 18 at the time or that the payments were for anything illegal. we should also note gaetz has denied ever paying for sex or having sex with underage girls. he hasn't been charged with any crimes, but his friend, joel greenberg, has and he's been indicted on 33 federal charges, including sex trafficking of a minor and this week greenberg's attorney said he's likely to strike a deal with prosecutors. listen to this. >> i'm sure matt gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today. >> and so far just one republican has called on gaetz to resign, but it's clear congressman gaetz has zero intensifying stepping aside. here he is yesterday speaking at that women's summit.
>> i take the words of margaret thatcher to heart. if you want something said, get a man. if you want something done, hire a woman. cheese [ cheers and applause ] >> with me is the palm beach county state attorney, dave erinburg and politicize columnist from the bulwark. greenberg's attorney says he's likely to strike a deal and gaetz is probably feeling uncomfortable, i guess that makes sense. but what does that signal to you? >> jim, i've always thought that greenberg would strike a deal because he's facing up to life in prison for child sex trafficking over the same 17-year-old girl at issue in the matt gaetz investigation. plus, greenberg right now is sitting in a jail cell awaiting trial because he violated the terms of his pretrial release, so he has every incentive to flip on matt gaetz.
it's a lifeline that gaetz is out there because normally the person who's most culpable is the one who has most to worry about, but here there's a bigger fish, a member of congress who may not be as culpable but is clearly a more important figure than a local tax collector. so i think things are going to get worse before they get better for matt gaetz. >> it's not like gaetz wrote "sex" on the memo line of the payment. how would prosecutors prove the money was for illegal purposes if that's, in fact, what it was for, dave? >> jim, they don't need to prove that the money went for sex to prove child sex trafficking charges. that's the thing. when it comes to child sex trafficking, the statute is so broad that it's enough if matt gaetz just enticed a girl to have sex with greenberg for money or provided drugs like i can at asy to help facilitate it. it's enough if he drove one of the girls back to the hotel room or paid for the hotel room. you don't have to have a payment for sex to come under a child
sex trafficking statute. according to reports, the payments were for people who were of age. if that's the case, it's most relevant if there's adult human trafficking and that would require force, fraud, or coercion. but when it comes to young people under 18, the statute is way broader. >> that's important. amanda, matt gaetz released a letter of support from the women of his office, the, quote, unquote, women of his office. i'll read it to you. congressman gaetz has always been a principled and morally grounded leader. at no time has any one of these witnessed anything other than respect. amanda, what a great defense this would be if a single female staffer signed her name to this letter. what do you make of that? >> yeah, it's extremely unusual and it makes me wonder about the pressure that the women of that office may be under.
frankly, i'm worry about that. it's unusual to not put your name on it and that's absence. there are no people willing to defend matt gaetz. and so, you know, i'm glad you covered the federal investigation angle of this, but there's an ethics investigation that is going to look at all kinds of things. having a damning ethics report, he doesn't have to engage in illegal activity. they're looking at sexual misconduct, possible drug use, campaign finance violations. normally it's pretty hard to get an ethics committee investigation to stick because the house ethics committee doesn't have subpoena power. but in this case, what you may have are a lot of people who witnessed bad behavior by matt gaetz who are willing to talk. i mean, we've seen the news reports as reported by cnn that he was flashing nude pictures in the house floor of women. if members of congress are willing to talk to the media about that, i think they need to talk to the house ethics
committee because i'm sure sure there are other staffers who saw that as well that did indeed take place. so this can go a lot of different directions, but matt gaetz doesn't have to be convicted of criminal activity to be in trouble. this is a bigger problem for the republican party because let's say he does get stripped of his committee assignment. that would be the third member in my recent memory of getting stripped of committee assignments. steve king, marjorie taylor greene, and possibly gaetz. it's just a really bad look for the republican party. >> right. after the media began reporting gaetz was under federal investigation, he went on fox news and had this interesting exchange with tucker carlson. >> i can say that actually you and i went to dinner about two years ago. your wife was there and i brought a friend of mine. you'll remember her. she was actually threatened by the fbi, told that if she wouldn't cop to the fact that
somehow i was involved in some pay for play scheme that she could face trouble. >> i don't remember the woman you're speaking of or the context at all. >> dave, based on all of the evidence that the media has, where do you think federal investigators are heading in this investigation? could some of that tape be of interest? >> yes, jim. i think tucker carlson is going to get a call from a federal investigator asking him and his wife what they know. that may be why he's not appeared on fox news since then because when matt gaetz speaks, seems like it gets him and others in trouble. i know he's hired some pretty expensive criminal defense lawyers. he should listen to their advice, which is to stop talking. he's not making himself look any better in the court of public opinion, and certainly it's not helping him in a court of law. and so i think what's going to happen is that prosecutors are going to continue to speak with greenberg to see if they can tie gaetz not just to child sex
trafficking, but also identity theft because there's apparently evidence that gaetz was with greenberg in the tax collector's office rummaging through old i.d.s as part of an identity theft operation. they'll also look at campaign finance laws. and so there's going to be a lot of hurt ahead for matt gaetz. guillenberg is rushing to the prosecutor's office to be first because the first one to the table eats and the last one to the table becomes dinner. >> absolutely. that's very true. i want to get your quick take on this, this billboard that has gone up in gaetz's home state of florida. it says matt gaetz wants to date your child. i mean, this is just awful stuff. it just seems to be getting worse and worse every day for the congressman. only one republican member of congress, adam kinzinger, is calling on him to resign. does that surprise you? >> no, it doesn't, because most members of congress will take
the path of least resistance and are just waiting to see what happens in the courts and what charges are brought because that's the easiest thing to do. what i'm concerned about where the people that gave matt gaetz such a platform that made him a rising star in the republican party, particularly targeting young kids. throughout the summer, groups like american conservative union, turning point usa presented him as a role model to high school and college students. i think regardless of what happens, that needs to be accounted for and there should be some reflection by the people who put him on those kind of stages. >> absolutely. we'll see if any of that actually happens. but it's a very good question to ask for sure. thank you so much for those insights. we appreciate it. coming up, compelling testimony from one of the star witnesses in the derek chauvin trial as the medical examiner who conducted george floyd's autopsy calls his death a homicide but it says drugs and
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restraint is more than he could take. mr. floyd's use of fentanyl did not cause the sube dual or neck restraint. his heart disease did not cause the subdural or a neck restraint. >> reporter: without those two things done by derek chauvin and the other officers, mr. floyd would not have died, he testified. but the defense tried to poke holes, pointing out he didn't include lack of oxygen or asphyxia in his autopsy report. >> that's just not something that i think we see as medical examiners, pressure to the back of the neck explaining strangulation. >> or asphyxiation? >> correct. >> reporter: as for previous health conditions and drugs -- >> so in your opinion, both the heart disease as well as the history of hypertension and the drug, the drugs in his system played a role in mr. floyd's death? >> in my opinion, yes. >> the state calls dr. lindsey
thomas. >> reporter: she is she is unequivocal in her assessment. >> there's no evidence to suggest he would have died that night except for the interactions with law enforcement. >> reporter: she agreed with dr. baker's autopsy report that floyd's heart was enlarged and that he had drugs in his system. so chauvin's attorney asked a hypothetical question. >> you find a person at home, no struggle with the police, right? and the person doesn't have a heart problem, but you find fentanyl and methamphetamine in this person's system at the levels that they're at, would you certify this as an overdose? >> again, in the absence of any of these other realities, yes, i could consider that to be an overdose. >> reporter: but on redirect, she testified that is not now george floyd died.
>> the cause of death was the law enforcement subdural restraint and compression and the manner of death is homicide. >> reporter: the jury heard over and over again those two words, restraint and compression as the cause of george floyd's death. and the prosecution pointed out the only way that that was happening to his body was because of the officers' actions that day. sara sidner, cnn, minneapolis. and that brings us to our weekly cross-exam segment with former federal and state prosecutor, elie honig. the hennepin county medical examiner official autopsy made no mention of asphyxiation as a cause of death, but an independent autopsy commissioned by floyd's family said he died of asphyxiation from sustained pressure. one viewer wants to know how much of a problem is this for the prosecution that there are two different medical examiner
reports? it's a good question. >> jim, it is a good question. it's not ideal for the prosecution, but i felt they did a really effective job last week of dealing with it. like you said, the hennepin county examiner found the cause of death was the lungs and the heart shut down. but that other report, the private report found the cause of death was asphyxiation. the prosecution did a really good job showing both of those terms would actually be describing the same thing larks of oxygen caused the heart and lungs to shut down. and both reports find that george floyd's death was a homicide, meaning it was caused by another person and both reports find that the predominant cause was chauvin's actions, and that's a key concept in this trial. the prosecution does not need to show that sauvignon's actions were the only cause of death. it's enough legally to show that chauvin's actions were one substantial cause even if there were other contributing factors. >> another viewer asks what kind of evidence do you expect chauvin's lawyers to introduce
in his defense case? what do you think? >> jim , that defense case could be starting early this week. in our system, first of all, no defendant ever had any burden of proof. they don't have to put on any case at all. that happens sometimes. that said, i do expect chauvin's team to put on evidence this week. first, they're going to focus on excessive force. are they going to find a police officer who can take the stand and testify that what chauvin did was reasonable, that it was within policy and training? i'm a little dubious, but i guess we'll see. and then they're definitely going to focus on medical causation and put on evidence to support their theory that floyd died not because of chauvin but because of a drug overdose combined with his pre-existing conditions. chauvin has the right to testify. i think it's highly unlikely he does so. most defendants don't testify in their own defense, it's risky and it would be especially risky here. >> right. another viewer wants to know, given your experience, how has the presence of cameras in the
courtroom influenced the way the lawyers have handled the trial? i always worry about this aspect of legal coverage and whether that is affecting things. what do you think? >> the prosecutors are worried about it too. i think we've been really lucky so far because this thing could have devolved into a circus, shocking to say, but some lawyers like to play to the cameras. but instead, this case has really gone very, very smoothly. we had minimal objections, no real disruptions, no one screaming and moving for mistrials. the judge remained in control. the lawyers for both sides have really done a professional job. i think that's a really good and important thing because the world is watching this trial. of course the verdict is the final word. that's the most important thing. but i also think it's really important that we have a fair and substantive and measured process to give the public faith in the legitimacy of what we're doing here. >> all right. elie honig, thanks for that. appreciate it.
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it's a feeling all parents have shared during the pandemic, this fear your kids are falling behind, whether it be educationally, socially, or both. there's also this constant guilt that you can't make this year of learning normal for them. while we don't know yet how much our kids have been set back, we know they probably have been. take this new study out of the
netherlands, for example, that found that after just eight weeks of remote learning there, children showed a learning loss of 20%. again, that's just after eight weeks. some children here in the u.s. have been learning remotely for more than a year. and not everyone has had the same access. an estimated 1 in 6 children here in the u.s. do not have the necessary equipment in their homes to participate in online learning, whether that be internet access or even a computer. my next guest has been referred to as the poster child of online education, sal khan, an educator who has dedicated his life to make sure all children have access to a quality education. you may have used his nonprofit, khan academy. it's a completely free platform that offers lessons in math, sciences, and humanities in 50 different languages. sal, thanks for joining us. i think every parent would like a one-on-one with you right now. i want to start on that study that found a 20% learning loss after just eight weeks of remote learning. it's staggering. can you quantify just how much
american children may have lost over the last year? it may be a lot. >> yeah. you know, there's examples of summer learning loss every year where students aren't learning for three months and forgetting what they learned the priest year. what we see with covid is it's kind of -- there's certain students that have been able to thrive in this environment having the agency their families have been able to support them. but we are seeing there's about 15% of the population that has really fallen off the radar. one of my neighbors is a public school teacher and she's talked about -- this is in a pretty upper middle class neighborhood, 10% of students she's not able to connect with. there's another probably quarter of the students who are able to engage but they just don't have all the socio-emotional support. so it is something we have to be worried about because we're going to build on them and these kids are going to suffer. >> no question about it. the los angeles unified school
district is the second largest in the country and students there have not stepped in a classroom for more than a year. a new report found that an alarming number of students in this district are now at risk of not graduating. 20% of the class of 2021, 43% of the class of 2022, 37% of the class of 2023 and down it goes. as the poster child of online education, did you expect this? was this preventable? did the schools go overboard? what do you think? >> i don't think any of us could have predicted this a year ago. and the not so happy answer is, even before the pandemic, even amongst high school graduates we saw 70% of kids who go to community college have to get remediation, usually at the middle school level in reading and math and the pandemic made things worse. some consider me the poster child for online learning. i'll be the first to say online
learning by itself is not ideal. interaction with friends and being able to use khan academy to learn at your pace. that's why we're doing everything we can in partnership with states around the country to provide ways to fill in the gaps. that's always been one of the goals of khan academy to get as much practice and video lessons as you need. another not for profit called schoolhouse.world. it's literally free tutoring for anyone in the world by having high-quality, vetted volunteer tutors from all over the world. it's partnerships with states like new hampshire, rhode island, mississippi, arkansas, north dakota to get the tutoring to as many students as possible. >> is there an age group that you're most worried about? i would be worried about the little ones who are just starting with the building blocks of education. but i suppose your older students, high school students, juniors and seniors going off to college and so on, they just
must be so nervous about the effect of all this. >> yeah. it's unfortunate. exactly as you mentioned for the young kids you worry about their fundamental basics and the socio-emotional, just getting into the patterns of school. on the other side you worry about the 16 or 17-year-olds who might have been on the fence of disengaging from the system, potentially dropping out. and so there's a big fear out here that we'll see record dropout rates. if we don't have ways to re-engage the students, it can hurt a lot of young people. >> we don't want to see that. we want to see the kids back in the classrooms as soon as possible. sal khan, thank you for those great insights. we appreciate it. great talking to you. >> thanks for having me. knew today, word that prince harry will head back to the u.k. to attend the funeral of his grandfather, prince philip. what we're learning about the service is next. and make life a little easier. cvs carepass... it's my savings secret. love. carepass members get 20% off cvs health brand products. whoaa!
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grandfather, prince philip. next saturday will be a scaled-down funeral in part because of the pandemic and in part because of prince philip's no-fuss attitude. the 99-year-old passed away at winners castle yesterday. they were married for more than 70 extraordinary years. joining me now is royal correspondent max. what can you tell us about this funeral? we'll all be watching. >> well, we're getting a better senseth. as you say, prince philip didn't want a lot of fuss, so what's emerging is something pretty suited to what he would like, tool queen would like to give him a bigger tribute as well. there's a bit of a conflict there, but she signed off on the plans. the funeral next saturday in the morning eastern time. there will be some quirks, very prince philip moments. he'll be carried in his coffin in a land rover, which was customized by him. and the family will be walking
behind that, everyone apart from the queen as we understand it. prince harry is coming over for it. he'll have to quarantine under the rules. the duchess of sussex has been advised not to travel by her doctors. so it will be a state affair but with a maximum of 30 guests allowed. we haven't heard much from the family so far, but prince charles did speak this afternoon from his country home on behalf of the family. >> my dear papa was a very special person who i think above all else would have been amazed by the reaction and the touching things that have been said about him. and from that point of view, we are, my family, deeply grateful, for all that. it will sustain us in this particular loss and at this particularly sad time. >> lots of people turning up to the palace with flowers because
they're being redirected because they don't want to create crowds. it's a challenge, actually, at the moment. >> max, we understand the prime minister won't be able to attend. what more can you tell us about the guests who will be attending the funeral, and what about meghan markle? should we make anything of the fact that she's not going other than her doctors are advising her not to? there was that explosive interview with oprah winfrey, of course. >> yeah, and it created a huge amount of tension in the family here. i don't know what we can read into it apart from we have to take it at face value. there will be a lot of focus on the dynamic between william and harry, for example, but also harry and his father. i think there will be a lot of focus on that but also on the queen and seeing her for the first time as a widow. that's where most of the sympathy and focus will be lying on saturday. the prime minister's not coming, he says, because there's a maximum on funerals of 30 guests
and he says he doesn't want to take up a space that could have been dedicated to a family member. >> absolutely. that makes sense. sounds very appropriate. max foster, thank you so much for that report. we appreciate it. coming up, life on a serene caribbean island has been upended after a volcano erupts. the pictures are unbelievable. thousands have been sent fleeing in all of this. plus, the new series from cnn coming up, "the people versus the klan." don't miss this powerful new series pooermremieres with back-to-back episodes right here on cnn. roasted turkey. piled high with crisp veggies. on freshly baked bread! so, let's get out there and get those footlongs. now at subway®, buy one footlong in the app, and get one 50% off. subway®. eat fresh.
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take a look at this -- the caribbean of st. vincent waking up from ash falling from the sky and a strong smell of sul for. a volcano dormant for decades, shooting ash and smoke into air. we have been following the latest developments. safely in havana for us. patrick, thousands have been already forced to evacuate, is
there still a threat right now. >> reporter: absolutely. according to officials on these islands the worst may be yet to come, jim, because a volcano is expected to continue erupting. a beautiful lush island is covered in ash and soot. this is something that hasn't happened in 40 years, scientists in recent months and over the last couple of days have been witnessing the volcano activity taking place, warning people late thursday they had to evacuate and that's why we haven't heard of any casualties, any injuries or any deaths so far because they were able to get thousands of people away from this volcano, sometimes even sending in empty cruise ships to get them away from the center of this volcanic
activity. there's the rick of being -- becoming sick with the coronavirus, with covid, they're warning people if they can't get the vaccine to get tested because it's likely to go on for weeks, months. officials warning that the vol kay nick activity can continue. >> just some incredible images out of this explosion, patrick, and as we both know so many cnn viewers in the caribbean hope they're all staying safe as we keep tabs on this. patrick, thank you for being this with us. developing right now, at least two dead and seven others are injured after a possible tornado rolled through louisiana overnight, these images from st. landry parish show the extent of the damage, cars smashed, right
now, crews are still working to power restored. also the fear of flash flooding along areas of the gulf coast. since 2007, cnn heroes has celebrated hundreds of these amazing individuals, they're all around us and crow can help shine a light on their effort by nominating them as a cnn hero. >> it's been a time of challenges and change. also a time for hope. this year cnn heroes celebrates our 15th year of honoring everyday people doing extraordinary things. from frontline workers fighting against the coronavirus pandemic, to those battling equity and social justice, from spontaneous acts of courage to those dedicating their lives to making a difference.
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a new report from the capitol police reports more failures ahead of the attack. it around with capitol police two weeks before the attacks maps by congress were posted on a pro-trump website the report also suggests that the department's leadership failed to stay on top of routine housekeeping items. shields were not shared at the correct temperature, rendering them ineffective. the capitol police inspector general's expected to testify on capitol hill next week. that will be worth watching for sure. and you're live in the "cnn
newsroom." i'm jim acosta in washington. troubling proof even as vaccinations ramp up we're not out of this pandemic yet. not by a long shot. more than 68 million americans are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, yet dr. fauci and other experts are sounding the alarm about an uptick in new infections, on friday alone over 80,000 new cases were reported nationally the seven-day average climbing steadily following a month's long decline, hospitals in michigan may be forced to delay or reschedule nonemergency procedures on a case by case basis because of the surge. state positivity rate of 18%. we're in detroit right now. the governor says that the state is unquestionably a national hot